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Cattle Cycle Book Benefits Producers

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Posted Sep. 30, 2009

Having a good working knowledge of the cattle cycle is one of the keys for economic success in the livestock business. This is true whether one is in a cow-calf operation, a forage grazing operation, a feedyard operation or a beef cattle slaughter/processing company. The cattle cycle is a natural accumulation and liquidation of cattle inventory over a period of years. Herd sizes are increased or decreased as producers respond to both the natural biological processes of beef animals and to cattle prices. While exact predictions are impossible, access to historical information about the cattle cycle enables producers to take advantage of opportunities that are present throughout the course of the cycle. Accurate historical market information can significantly aid farm managers in planning for and managing a beef operation.

Cattle Cycle is a publication developed by the Noble Research Institute to educate producers about the complex biological and economical relationships driving the cattle cycle. It contains a collection of information that provides producers with a basic understanding of all the stages of beef cattle production - from cow-calf operations, through the feedyard, all the way to harvest. Cattle Cycle also explains how to use information from both market history and futures markets to help make sound cattle management and marketing decisions. In addition, the publication includes many examples of using specific market data to help make better decisions.

Cattle Cycle includes:

  • historical prices and indexes for steers, heifers, slaughter steers and cull cows;
  • cattle inventory;
  • basis;
  • futures market information;
  • risk management strategies; and
  • a list of slaughter and processing facilities within a 100-mile radius of Ardmore, Okla.

The 2009 edition of Cattle Cycle is available on our Web site at www.noble.org/Ag/Economics/CattleCyclePrices2009. For more information about the cattle cycle, please visit our Web site or talk with your agricultural economics consultant. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have at djoswald@noble.org or by phone at 580.224.6432.